Ukraine Believes Republicans Will Keep Money Flowing If They Win


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(Bloomberg) — Ukraine believes the US will keep up financial support for its fight against Russia if Republicans take control of Congress following the midterm elections, the country’s economy minister said, regardless of threats from some leaders to scrutinize spending more closely. 

“We really appreciate your bipartisan support,” Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Tuesday. “We’re not worried. Ukraine fights for very concrete rights and values. I think the US will support until we get victory.” 

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Svyrydenko made a new call for allied nations to send more weapons and financing, including air-defense systems to target Iranian drones and Russian missiles. She spoke just hours before the first results were set to come out from elections that could jolt the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda. 

Republicans are predicted to win control of the House of Representatives, and could easily take the Senate too. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who’s in position to become House speaker, warned last month that his party would not write a “blank check” for Ukraine if it wins a majority in Tuesday’s elections. President Joe Biden also said in October that he was “worried” Republicans would slash Ukraine aid if they won. 

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Infrastructure Help

Svyrydenko traveled to Washington to speak with the Biden administration about rebuilding after Russian strikes on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure last month that have led to blackouts across the country. That’s included submitting a list of power-related equipment Ukraine needs, including generators, she said.

Those airstrikes knocked out 30% of Ukrainian energy capacity, and Kyiv wants to gain some flexibility by purchasing electricity from Europe.

More broadly, Ukraine needs international partners including the US, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to cover about 50% of its expenditures, Svyrydenko said. “By the end of the year, we’ll have commitments from the European side, the United States side,” she said. She said her visit didn’t involve any discussions with the IMF.

Tough Winter

Ukraine is bracing for a tough winter and is anticipating even more attacks on civilian buildings and energy infrastructure as part of a deliberate Russian strategy.

“When Russia falls on military side, on the battlefield, they try to attack our social infrastructure,” she said. “They’ve tried to destroy all the electricity grid in our country to freeze Ukraine.”

—With assistance from Rosalind Mathieson.


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